2024 Program Information

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Tackling Noise and Emissions Challenges Together

In a world increasingly aware of the environmental impacts of aviation, the UC Davis Aviation Noise & Emissions Symposium takes center stage as a beacon of innovation, collaboration, and progress. This symposium is entirely dedicated to the critical mission of noise and emissions reduction from aircraft, representing a vital step forward in the aviation industry's commitment to a cleaner, quieter, and more sustainable future. The symposium unites aviation industry professionals, environmental and community advocates, policymakers, and forward-thinking technology pioneers in a common mission. This immersive event seeks to address the noise and emissions challenges in the aviation industry.

Session Topics for the 2024 Aviation Noise and Emissions Symposium:

Session Descriptions 

Keynote Speakers

Leaded Aviation Gasoline Exposure Risk in San Jose, California
  • Presented by: Cindy Chavez, County of Santa Clara

In 2021, the County of Santa Clara commissioned an airborne lead study around Reid-Hillview Airport in San Jose. The results were alarming and kicked off a community fervor to close the longtime airport and stop the sale of unleaded gas at County-owned airports. This presentation will share the results of the study, the community response and what Santa Clara County has been doing over the last half decade to close the airport and what's next.

Working Together on Land Use Compatibility
  • Presented by: Peter Kirsch, Kaplan Kirsch Rockwell

The world of land use compatibility has devolved, like so much of American politics, into warring factions. While some players insist that one party is the one best positioned to achieve long term compatibility, true land use compatibility can only be achieved when all stakeholders respect the others' authority and responsibilities. This includes the measurement and reporting of noise, perhaps the most frequent source of dispute. This keynote address will address the history of current land use compatibility principles and try to dispel some of the urban myths surrounding reporting and addressing noise impacts. I will conclude with some recommendations for better dialogue on addressing real issues.

Climate Change and Aviation

Climate Change is an existential threat to the aviation industry and, in response, the sector is aggressively pursuing pathways to decarbonize. The industry recognizes that urgent action is required to reduce its contribution to climate change as rapidly as possible while maintaining the vital societal and economic benefits of air transportation. This session will explore some of the many diverse ways the sector is striving to reduce its climate change impact, looking at measures such as addressing non-CO2 impacts, developing low-emissions aircraft, novel operational changes and driving uptake of sustainable aviation fuel.

Session chairs: Rachel Burbidge, Eurocontrol, Ian JopsonNATS

  • Presentation by: Dinesh Sanekommu, American Airlines/Google
  • Presentation by: Jonathan Bagg, NAV CANADA
  • Presentation by: Kenley Farmer, A4A
  • Enhancing Aviation Environmental Performance Through Improved Decision Making: Aviation activity contributes to Earth’s warming through emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), black carbon (BC), and the formation of persistent warming contrails. These emissions produce warming effects over vastly different timescales. This presentation will describe how MITRE is developing an integrated method that allows aircraft operators to understand the combined climate effect of their operations alongside operating costs and schedule to more rapidly achieve near-term climate benefits while avoiding potential unintended consequences that can arise from considering each factor in isolation.
    • Presentation by: Ted Thrasher, Mitre

Reframing Community Exposures to Better Capture Aviation Related Health Effects

Individuals living in proximity to noise and air pollution sources have been shown to experience negative short-term and long-term health outcomes. Some important sources of noise and air pollution in urban environments include both on-road and off-road traffic sources. For airport communities, there have been efforts to reduce the impact of emissions on human health including federal regulatory standards, community led intervention strategies and airport led emissions reductions. However, recent research suggests that there are novel metrics that quantify noise and air pollution exposure, that may more closely capture the pathway that associates the exposure to health. This session will present important community and research perspectives that provide evidence for reframing approaches to measuring and modeling the impact of noise and air pollution.

Session chairs: Debi WagnerQuiet Skies Coalition, Elena AustinUniversity of Washington

  • Aircraft Sound is a Form of Pollution and Should be Treated as a Public Health Hazard: 

    An experiment was designed to measure the duration of the full sound spectrum of aircraft flyovers.  A multichannel analyzer recorded both sound and the vibrations induced into solid surfaces from the sound energy.  Each sound event lasted approximately 60 seconds. Multiple locations directly under the aircraft’s path were selected from the end of the runway to many miles away. The findings? The current FAA approved aircraft sound criteria and methodology does not include the vast majority of the sound being produced by aircraft as their primary sound is either not being measured at all or its presence is significantly discounted (subtracted) from the overall sound produced through the use of the manipulations associated with the dB(A) sound weighting. Many of the sounds that are being produced during flyovers correspond to resonant frequencies of the human body and these can be excited and become negative health exposures and should be treated as such. The presentation will make a call that all future aircraft noise studies also include dB(C) sound weighting as that measurement allows significantly more aircraft noise to be included in the DNL calculation.

    • Presented by: Bryan Johnson, Community Researcher

  • The FAA Allows Americans to be Exposed to Unsafe Levels of Aviation Noise: The FAA has determined that a DNL of 65 dBA is compatible with residential land use, but the EPA calculated that safe noise levels for the American public are only Ldn of 45 for indoor noise and 55 dB for outdoor noise. Aviation noise has been shown to cause increased cardiovascular disease and mortality, with nighttime aircraft noise being specifically linked to heart attacks. The mechanisms of how this happens are now understood down to the molecular and genetic levels. No more research needs to be done to know that the FAA allows Americans to be exposed to unsafe levels of aviation noise,  with poor and minority communities disproportionately affected.  Aviation noise exposure can be reduced immediately by operational changes and over the longer term by engine and airframe modifications. A quieter world in the air and on the ground will be a better and healthier world for all.
    • Presented by: Daniel Fink, The Quiet Coalition
  • Investigating the Impact of Airport-related Ultrafine Particles and Cancer: The Multiethnic Cohort Study: Few epidemiologic studies have investigated the associations between airport-related ultra fine particle exposures and cancer risk. Dr. Cheng will share findings from the Multiethnic Cohort Study that examined cancer risk in relation to ultrafine particles exposures from Los Angeles International Airport.
    • Presented by: Iona Cheng, USFC

Beyond the Part 150– Finding Noise Abatement Solutions

Airports and communities are finding creative solutions to long-standing noise issues. These solutions include using legacy methods such as Part 150 Studies, but also other methods to engage stakeholders, including Fly Quiet Programs and noise abatement procedures in flight training. This session will present methods used by airports to address noise mitigation through programs aimed at reducing noise by commercial, business jet and general aviation aircraft.

Session chairs: Tara Finnigan, City of Newport Beach, Cindy Gibbs, Tetra Tech, Darlene YapleeAICA and Concerned Residents of Palo Alto

  • Presentation by: Adeel Yousef, Port Authority NY/NJ
  • Community Perspective - Fly Quiet Programs: Based on primary research, this presentation will highlight differences and best practices from a sample of airports (commercial and general aviation) as well as make recommendations for increasing the effectiveness of Fly Quiet Programs. 
    • Presented by: Tami Mulcahy, Sky Posse Los Altos
  • Presentation by: Matt Liknaitzky, Sling Academy
  • Completed Part 150: What's next?: Zac will discuss the results of the Naples Airport Authority's recently submitted Part 150 as well as what the next steps are for the NAA, including flight procedure design, new programs and studies and unleaded avgas incentives.
    • Presented by: Zachary Burch, Naples Air Authority
  • Presentation by: Beth White, FAA

Community Engagement: Best Practices and Innovative Approaches

Effective and equitable community engagement is essential for individuals and organizations seeking to create positive change, foster collaboration, and build trusting relationships. This session will dive into the topic of community engagement; exploring best practices and innovative approaches that aim to create meaningful connections and have a sustainable impact.

Session chairs: Darlene Yaplee, AICA and Concerned Residents of Palo Alto, Tara Finnigan, City Newport of Beach, Jerry GerspachPort of Portland

  • FAA and AICA Noise Policy Review Webinar - A Community Engagement Example: The FAA and the Aviation-Impacted Communities Alliance (AICA) held a virtual panel discussion moderated by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) on July 13, 2023 to discuss the Noise Policy Review framework and to facilitate the submission of meaningful comments by members of local communities who are substantially affected by aircraft noise and noise impacts. The presentation will cover the virtual panel discussion: ideation, perspectives, and learnings.  
    • Presented by: Darlene Yaplee, AICA and Concerned Residents of Palo Alto
    • Presented by: Don Scata, FAA
  • The SEA Stakeholder Advisory Round Table: Focusing on the Art of the Possible: SEA Airport, one of the busiest airports in the country, is located in a dense residential and commercial area immediately south of Seattle – creating tension between the economic benefits of airport operations versus community concerns about aircraft noise and emissions. Enter StART: a collaborative community forum that brings together the airport, community members, local governments, airlines and the FAA to identify and implement tangible progress on these issues. This session will feature a presentation by airport staff on StART’s structure, successes to-date, and the ongoing challenges faced when change is limited by policy, regulatory, and organizational barriers.
    • Presented by: Marco Milanese, Port of Seattle
    • Presented by: Eric Schinfeld, Port of Seattle
  • Communities Look for Solutions: A presentation on our community effort to reduce the impact of overflights with the goals to: increase air traffic over water, increase runway use to/from the west for noise reduction at night, and monitor flight tracks for compliance. After struggling for many years to find solutions we will share what we did, what we learned, and where we will go from here. 
    • Presented by: Julie Shane, Noise Advisory Committee - Portland International Jetport, Maine

Innovative Strategies for Quantifying and Communicating Aviation Noise Impacts

The FAA’s Noise Policy Review has shined a bright spotlight on aviation noise and called into question the accuracy of existing regulations and metrics on reflecting the lived experience of residents. Together, airports, operators, and communities have started to look well beyond DNL to better capture and communicate aviation noise impacts. Using real life examples, panelists will aim to define specific causes of aircraft noise and methods to represent and communicate noise impacts. These insights and best practices can be leveraged for noise abatement purposes, better community communication, and the development of a new regulatory framework that quantifies and communicates the true impact of aviation noise.

Session chairs: Marie-Jo Fremont, Concerned Residents of Palo Alto, Kallie GloverDelta Air Lines, Gregory MaxwellCrawford, Murphy & Tilly

  • Representing Aircraft Noise Impacts - A Community Perspective: Learn how aircraft noise impacts are typically represented and shared with communities today based on a sample of airports data and interviews, and what could be improved. Reflect on how communities experience aircraft noise and see what a community-centric representation of noise impacts could look like. 
    • Presented by: Marie-Jo Fremont, Concerned Residents of Palo Alto
  • Presentation by: Jacqueline Huynh, UC Irvine
  • A Tactical Approach to Mitigating Aircraft Noise Through Collaboration and Use of Noise Metric Models: A presentation of the innovative use of a comprehensive data set of discreet aircraft operations, local terminal weather, and airline cycle information in the development of noise metric views.  This approach will show the operational value of the analysis of voluminous granular data points and actual aircraft model and performance information in drawing actionable conclusions on what could mitigate noise, and what metrics would be useful in monitoring and reporting results, shareable with the community at large. 
    • Presented by: Mel Beale, Airport Working Group of Orange County

Perspectives on Environmental Impacts and Environmental Justice

This session will bring together environmental experts and scholars from diverse backgrounds to engage in a thought-provoking exploration of the multifaceted issues surrounding environmental impacts and environmental justice. Panelists will aim to answer questions on how to capture and represent disparities in terms of environmental exposure and impacts, what can be learned from environmental justice analyses, how the FAA addresses environmental justice, and what changes to NEPA will the FAA make or have recently made in response to the final rule of the Council on Environmental Quality.

Session chairs: Marie-Jo Fremont, Concerned Residents of Palo Alto, Debi WagnerQuiet Skies Coalition


  • Environmental justice in airport planning practice: Environmental justice is a critical part of the framing for sustainable aviation. This presentation will describe how the Federal Aviation Administration and airport owners framed and evaluated environmental justice in the NEPA planning process for airport expansion projects. The speaker will also describe emerging topics in environmental justice and US airport planning that OSU students, academics, and partners are pursuing.
    • Presented by: Amber Woodburn McNair, Ohio State Researcher
  • Perspectives on the Environmental Justice Journey in Aviation’s Purview: At this critical juncture for our planet and its inhabitants, environmental protection for all requires collective action.  EPA shares reflections on aviation-related environmental foundations, describes current challenges, and provides perspectives on prioritized Environmental Justice and Equity commitments.
    As addressing the long-standing environmental impacts and related burdens on historically marginalized communities is imperative, this presentation also features a demo of EJScreen, EPA’s Environmental Justice Screening & Mapping Tool, and thus illustrates the vast potential of data visualization, geospatial mapping, and similar powerhouse tools to equip and empower communities, to enhance analyses that can complement regulatory activities, and to advance the capacity of the aviation sector and other stakeholders to improve quality of life conditions throughout the country.
    • Presented by: Sabrina Johnson, EPA, and Tai Lung, EPA
  • Presentation by: Don Scata, DOT/FAA

Measuring and Modeling Air Quality Emissions

Air emissions from airports is a complex mix of emission sources that are often located in areas with many other sources of emissions. This panel of experts will present information on how emissions for airports can be assessed using monitoring, emissions estimation tools, and air dispersion modeling. The panel will also discuss how source apportionment is done, and the lates tools and methodology being used to be able to better understand the emissions from airports and the surrounding sources, and the impacts the emissions may have on the surrounding area.

Session chairs: Eric LuRamboll, Elena AustinUniversity of Washington 


  • Monitoring Airport Emissions: Air quality measurement includes a variety of technologies and methods and provides a means to empower the community and industry to achieve healthier communities and improved operations with data. We will present factors to consider when using low-cost sensor technology and the pros and cons of using this monitoring technique to evaluate airport emissions.
    • Presented by: Maggie Isied, Clarity Movement Co.
  • Decoding Airport Emissions: Analysis Using the Aviation Environmental Design Tool (AEDT): In this presentation, we will explore the Aviation Environmental Design Tool (AEDT), the FAA’s required method for evaluating the air quality impacts of aviation, such as by estimating criteria air pollutant and GHG emissions and dispersed pollutant concentrations. However, its accuracy hinges largely on the reliability of the underlying data. We'll delve into how this tool, despite its limitations, can provide a comprehensive view of emissions from all parts of an airplane’s journey and airport-based activities.
    • Presented by: Gwen Pelletier, Ramboll​​​​​​
  • Community Measurements of Aviation-related Ambient Air Quality: Ambient ultrafine particles (UFP) vary substantially over space and time and are therefore difficult to model exposure at increasing distances from sources. In our study we monitored and modeled UFP using stationary and monitoring to conduct source attribution to quantify inflight and ground-based aviation-related contributions to ambient air quality. 
    • Presented by: Kevin Lane, Boston University School of Public Health

Conquering Regional Air Transportation with a Reduced Noise Footprint

Update on developments of advanced air mobility and electrification infrastructure from leading aircraft manufacturers, state aviation officials, NASA, and FAA.

Session chairs: Timothy MiddletonHMMH, Jonathan Rathsam, NASA Langley Research Center, Alex GertsenNBAA

  • Presentation by: Aaron Vaughn, NASA
  • Presentation by: Matt Friedman, Caltrans
  • Presentation by: Melissa McCaffrey, Overair
  • Presentation by: Scott Cutshall, Clay Lacy Aviation

Noise Policy Review Update

Update on the FAA's Noise Policy Review

Session chairs: Timothy MiddletonHMMH, Darlene Yaplee, AICA and Concerned Residents of Palo Alto

  • FAA Noise Policy Review: Current Status and Next Steps: In this presentation the FAA will provide a status update on ongoing efforts to review it’s civil aircraft noise policy and present initial summaries of the comments received from Stakeholders on the Noise Policy Review Federal Register Notice. FAA will also provide an update on next steps in the policy review process. 
    • Presented by: Adam Scholten, FAA